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Government Local

Genoa police chief proposes updating vicious dog ordinance

GENOA – Genoa Police Chief Ty Lynch hopes to address local laws on vicious dogs before it becomes a problem in the community.

The city’s code book contains only one sentence pertaining to vicious dogs, and Lynch is presenting the City Council with an expanded ordinance after a recent dog-bite case.

“As it stands now, the city is authorized to destroy the dog,” Lynch said. “That was a 1978 code that needs to be changed.”

The proposed ordinance authorizes the mayor and his or her appointee to deem that a dog is vicious based on the animal’s behavior. If that determination is made, Lynch said, the owner is required to have the dog spayed or neutered and microchipped within 10 days.

“It’s not in the ordinance I have ready to present, but we want to put in there that any time the [vicious] dog is out in public, it has to be muzzled,” he said.

Local law already says that dogs must be leashed on public property.

Lynch said there has been a lot of discussion about vicious dogs in the community after a biting incident, and 1st Ward Alderman Pam Wesner brought the issue to his attention. Wesner did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

1st Ward Alderman Glennis Carroll said the issue has been discussed at length.

“I would just hope everyone would take responsibility for their own animal,” Carroll said.

“What should be simple, in my mind, has required a lot of discussion,” Lynch said.

A second ordinance Lynch is proposing makes changes to the city’s fine schedule.

“Right now, the way the ordinance reads, if there’s no specific fine amount listed, it’s a mandatory court appearance,” he said.

“It’s just a matter of cleaning up what was already there,” Lynch said.

Both proposed ordinances were scheduled for discussion at a Committee of the Whole meeting that was canceled Monday because of the weather.

Lynch said both discussions will probably appear on the agenda for the next council meeting Tuesday.

If you go

• WHAT: Genoa City Council meeting

• WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday

• WHERE: Genoa City Hall, 333 E. First St.

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